Summer Prairie
Nature Photography Outing & Learning Adventure

Photography Outing Requirements

NOTE: These outings are well in advance based on the best available knowledge and history, but there is no way to know what nature will bring. We’ll make the best of it!

If you have questions about your experience level, please email us or phone 630-852-8448.


You should be fairly comfortable with your camera’s operations and controls. If you’ve taken a class with us before, you probably qualify. However, this outing is not for people who are using their cameras for the first time. Instead, we offer very nice fundamental photography classes designed for your needs like Get to Know Your Camera.


  • DIGITAL SLR or EVF (mirrorless) Camera with:
    • LENSES that may anything between wide-angle, macro, and telephotos.
    • A GOOD TRIPOD & HEAD to ensure sharp images, more precise compositions, and ability to stack images. I cannot emphasize enough that a cheap tripod or tripod head will make your day miserable.
      • TRIPOD STRAP flung over your shoulder is the easiest way to carry a tripod. A good photo backpack should also allow you to attached a tripod.
      • ELECTRONIC SHUTTER RELEASE (OPTIONAL) to reduce camera shake
  • PHOTO VEST or BACKPACK: Where do you put all of your equipment? Well, I love photo vests with the possible addition of a fanny pack. But a lot of photographers carry backpacks. If you bring a photo backpack, I’m going to be on your case to be careful where you set it down so that you don’t harm the plants, which are always very closely spaced.
  • HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE FOCUSING GUIDE & STEEL TAPE MEASURE if you plan on shooting the landscape and want sharp images. If you don’t have a focusing guide of your own, one is available from Mike for $10 at the meet-up location.


You need to be ready for all weather conditions to protect yourself and your equipment. As with any outdoor situation, it is highly recommended that no cotton clothing of any sort be worn. You’ll probably need to wear gloves and it’s often very common to get wet in morning dew Here’s a brief list of what you should bring:

  • Boots: Assume muddy and wet conditions even though it may be perfectly dry and sunny out.
  • Brimmed Hat to keep the sun out of your eyes when looking through the viewfinder and to protect from insects.
  • Long Pants: Protect your legs from the plants, branches, insects, and falls.
  • Hat, Gloves, & Jacket for morning shoots or cooler weather. It’s always cooler in the mornings, even in the summer.
  • Rain Jacket & possibly Rain Pants: For morning shoots, the prairie is covered with dew and you can become completely saturated. Think “Wet Photography Vest Contest.” On second thought, don’t think it!
  • Snack & Liquids: It’s important to remain hydrated and keep up your energy.
  • Insect Repellent: Use a DEET repellant to keep the mosquitoes and ticks at bay.


When we’re in the field it’s important to carry the photo equipment you need. But, it’s also important to respect the home of these very special living plants and creatures. So, we all need to tread lightly and be careful not to damage or crush plants. Therefore, if you normally use a backpack, please be extremely careful about where you place it when you’re shooting. Macro photography shooters need to be particularly conscientious.


Unless there’s a downpour, we’re shooting. But, if for some reason the weather prevents us from shooting, you’ll be notified the night before or just prior to the shoot. So, have your cell phones on. In case of inclement weather, the field session will automatically be rescheduled on the same day and at the same time on the following week.

If you have further questions about Mike MacDonald workshops just contact us.